Loretta Maine Interview: Do Comedians Really Have High Levels Of Psychotic Traits?

New research published this week suggests that comedians have high levels of psychotic personality traits. I caught up with comedy singer-songwriter Loretta Maine, currently on tour in a Wandsworth public toilet, to get her take on the findings.
Publish date:

Did anyone ask you to take part in this research project, Loretta?

No I am DIScRimINatEd aGAinsT BecaUSe I aM ActuALLy OPEn abOUT BeiNG PSychOTIc aND thAT is Not aS inteREStiNG as TryINg to saY MichAEl MAcINtyre IS PSychoTIC. BEcaUSe eveRYONE LOVes MAcINtYRe aND NoONE LoVEs ME.

Do you think that, er, creative people like you are more likely to exhibit psychotic personality traits, as the researchers claim?


The people who took part in this research were asked questions to find out about different aspects of their personalities. Firstly, they were asked if they’d had any unusual experiences that could indicate a belief in telepathy or the paranormal. Has anything spooky ever happened to you?

ONcE I HEaRD a VoICe In MY sLEEP ShOUtING "LOReTTA MAiNE!" OvER aND OVer aGAIn BUt It turNEd OUt thaT I hAd FAllEN aSLeeP BAcKStagE at thE 99 ClUB. JamEs WaS sO MAd wITh ME. I MAdE It UP to HIm By FOLLowiNG hIm HomE.

ALsO I oNCe FouND aDeaD maN< But I thiNK thAt's NorMAL MOre thaN PAraNOrmAL.

The research also measured comedians’ levels of introvertive anhedonia...

Is That aN AntI-DanDruff ShaMPoo?

No. No. It means whether you’re able to “feel social and physical pleasure”, and whether or not you avoid intimacy.

AvoID InTiMAcY? I aM LOOKing For IT eVEry DamN NIGht. TheRE ain'T a POstcoDE in LOndON thaT hasN't BeeN VisITed By My VagINa.


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Would you say you’re ever drawn to "impulsive or antisocial" behaviour?


And are you easily distractable?


The researchers found that that comedians tend to be withdrawn, introverted types who don’t always like socialising. Is that something that you can identify with?

I Am AbOUt aS WiTHdraWN aS a POrn StAR's PEnIS.

The researchers also suggested that some comedians use comedy as a kind of “self-medication”. Are your shows a kind of self-medication, do you think?

I LiKe WINe.

And finally - do you think the media are being lazy by consistently running mental health features that paint comedians into the stereotype of the tragic clown?

ThE MedIA iS SucH a LAzy BAstarD. If The MEdiA weRe a MaN, iT WoulD bE DavID CaMErON. ALL SOfT aND SquiDGy O nTHe OUtsIDE But FuLL oF LieS.

ThERe Is No TraGEdY iN MY BraIN - Just In My LifE. Let ME aND My feLLow ShoWpEoPLE expRess OurselVes How We wisH. IF You KEeP remINdinG us That We cOULd HAvE BEeN MurderERs iNSteaD oF ComediaNS, wE MighT Just ChaNGe pathS.

LucKIlY - SOme oF US aRe abLE to MulTi-TasK. SleEp wiTH YOur eyeS OpeN, KEnnY.

Loretta Maine (@Lorettamaine) can currently be seen on Live At The Electric on BBC3 or at a police station near you.